Killer Dads: five movie dads you probably shouldn't mess with

Categories: Family

jack nicholson shining face.jpg
Being a dad is tough, which is why, in honor of Father's Day, we're honoring the dads whose families have literally driven them to the brink of insanity (or further). Relax. It's only movie dads we're talking about here -- your dad probably won't go crazy and kill you this Sunday. Then again, as my own sage father always says when I'm obsessing about something beyond my control: there are no guarantees in life. Now, here's our list of the best killer dads known to Hollywood.

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Scream for Help
What is it about the '80s and awesomely trashy B-list horror cult classics? When it comes to shedding blood and guts of the familial kind, Paul Fox, the seemingly normal stepfather played by David Allen Brooks in Scream for Help (1984), isn't effing around. Well, no, technically he is effing around. Good old Paul's cheating on his new wife; when his curious teenage stepdaughter stumbles upon the indiscretion, things get messy as Paul attempts to slay his new family. But let's be real: the highs and lows of stepfather-hood were probably what drove this devilish daddy to cheat (and ultimately kill) in the first place.

The Stepfather
Some dads just can't handle the everyday disappointments associated with father- and husband-hood, which are what's to blame for Terry O'Quinn's behavior in 1987's The Stepfather (that and the fact that the man's also a raging sociopath). When things aren't going his way, O'Quinn habitually murders his families and then starts over. Don't even think about screaming "you're not my real dad" next time your own stepfather tells you to finish your leftover vegan meatloaf.

Amityville Horror
You know what they say: never trust a dad who makes poor real estate investments. (Ok, this isn't actually a saying, but it should be.) Poppa Lutz, played by James Brolin in the original Amityville Horror (1979), isn't just bad at picking out real estate. He's also prone to being possessed when faced with your typical, run-of-the-mill this-house-was-built-on-an-ancient-tribal-burial-ground-and-a-known-devil-worshipper-once-lived-here type of situation. If your own dad's checking the boathouse at 3:15 a.m. every morning and compulsively chopping wood for the fireplace, let that be your exit cue.

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